Good morning from NHA. - or New Haven Academy
So reflections on a second day. Lots of time spent in class observing how they do what we do but differently. Looking at Facing History lessons and then thinking about what we can bring back and develop in the classroom and across the school.
There's so many things that are a linked to Facing History that it's hard to know where to start. We started at 8am observing a Grade 10 (15 years old) lesson with students writing persuasive critical essays on Ebola and then switching to writing up an assignment on native peoples and settlers in 17th century. We ended at 11pm discussing how to start a Student Facing History Council and change the curriculum while eating Mexican food.
We also sat in on a group of students aged 14 to 19 telling us about what they think Facing History is and what a Facing History school is all about and basically it's being someone who thinks, who questions and who acts. Someone who stands up for justice and fairness and who is involved in promoting democracy. What does that all mean? Well a couple of things - in school here they have a thing called Fairness where students have a small scale court system to judge each other's behaviour and think of appropriate punishments - so recently a student who was phone videoing some students having a play fight in a corridor now has to film a number of positive events as punishment. Also, students have to do 40 hours community service before they leave school and that could be anything to tidying a teachers room to working in a soup kitchen with the homeless.
So all in all another full day which has left us exhausted but exhilarated but not so exhausted that we couldn't play an hours football with our new American friends and some of their mates - so there it was - us guys, a Greek guy, an Italian, a Ghanaian and two guys from the Ivory Coast. I lost by the way .....